If there is one thing I love above all else, it is an occasion to dress up in a silly outfit and drink with my friends.
I am lucky enough to have some friends living in Southern Germany (the best part of Germany, obviously) and last weekend we met up for a good old-fashioned Bavarian Bier Festival. Picture Oktoberfest in the forest.
Despite the fact that I already own a bright pink Dirndl, I found myself in the Tracht section of a department store and walked out of there with a brand new one (though not without first swapping blouses for one I liked better).
We spent the rest of the day enjoying Festbier by the liter, eating pretzels the size of steering wheels and dancing on tables. Not a bad way to spend a sunny Saturday, if you ask me.
There is something so magical about reuniting with friends, some of whom you haven’t seen in a over a year, and just spending time being a whole lot of ridiculous.
Also, “celebrating” the fact that the school you all earned MBA’s from has gone bankrupt. (I wish I were kidding). Thank God for dual-degree programs!
Two weekends ago I trudged off to Frankfurt to visit Kelly,
judge meet her new boyfriend, and enjoy an indoor picnic with my favorite English-speaking expats who also happen to be based in Frankfurt and/or Essen. After spending too much time shopping and being lazy, we slapped together a feast of salads, homemade guac and gazpacho and a few bottles of French wine. The next morning brought Kelly’s famous french press coffee (with frothed milk!) and Suz’s homemade blueberry muffins.
The following week my apartment became a hotel for a few days while my friend Megan was in town. She cooked quesedillas (with real American salsa!) for me and kept the dirty dishes out of my kitchen sink. Then we were off to Hannover, for a weekend of reliving our grad school days, including tuna melts and towers of beer, people watching at 2 for 1 beer night, karaoke and rickety carnival roller coasters.
This weekend I am set to head off to Nice for a solo vacation (my first one!). However a persistent cough as well as a forecast of weekend rain are making me quite less than excited for this adventure. Keep your fingers crossed/thumbs pressed that it exceeds my expectations, even if it doesn’t consist of getting a sunburn while eating baguettes and reading trashy novels on my Kindle.
When the Bier Bike driver tells you he wants to use your group for his advertising, you know you’re doing something right.
While you may think all my spare time is spent looking at the bottom of a liter of Bier, sometimes I partake in more cultural activities. Our second day in Munich was much different from our first. A two hour train ride followed by an arduous uphill trek led us to another Bucket List item: Neuschwanstein Castle.
Nestled high in the German Alps with views to die for, we were not disappointed.
Well folks, it’s official: I can die happy. I finally made it to the Hofbräuhaus in Munich.
After taking part in a two hour city tour that took four hours, my travel companion and I weren’t sure what to do next. The obvious answer to that question would be to spend 5+ hours ‘barhopping’ inside the world-famous brewery in the heart of München. A Maß of Bier and some Bretzeln in the outdoor Biergarten, followed by a Käsespätzle and Bier dinner while sitting next to the band (and an old German man who wanted nothing more than to talk to us, despite our inability to understand about 90% of what he was trying to communicate), and finally Apfelstrudel (and some more, smaller, Biers) for dessert in the upstairs dining room.
And of course, we went back the next night for more of the same. God Bless Germany.
That, friends, is pure joy.